Sailing from Argentina
Setting sail from Buenos Aires
The streets of Buenos Aires are redolent of a grand old European capital, lined with elegant architecture that wouldn't look out of place in Madrid or Paris. There is also plenty of Latin passion on display: Argentina is the home of tango, that most electrifying of dances, and the central Plaza de Mayo has played host to countless revolutions and rallies over the years. Food is an important part of life here, and carnivores shouldn't pass up the opportunity to try the world's finest beef at one of the many steakhouses, known as parrillas. Other attractions include the beautiful Recoleta cemetery, the grand Teatro Colón and the colourful, arty district of La Boca.
An evening dinner and tango show, a must-see in the home of this passionate dance.
Located just across the Río de la Plata from Buenos Aires, Uruguay’s underrated capital is a cosmopolitan and eclectic mix of colourful colonial architecture and high rise modernity. The 14-mile waterfront promenade, La Rambla, is a popular and pleasant place to be on a summer’s evening.
Argentina: Puerto Madryn
Founded by Welsh settlers in 1886, bustling Puerto Madryn owes its popularity as a tourist destination to the incredible wildlife of the Península Valdés. From June to December the bay is filled with migrating right whales, and at the beginning of the season the whales come so close to the shore that you can view them from the pier.
Falkland Islands: Stanley
The rugged and windswept Falkland Islands make for a fascinating stop on the way to or from Antarctica. Over 80% of the population lives in the capital, Stanley, though humans are far outnumbered by other creatures, including penguins, sea lions and albatrosses.
Perched on the ragged southern edge of Argentina, where the snow-capped Andes fall away into the churning sea, Ushuaia has a frontier town feel to it, and serves as the base for expeditions into the icy waters of Antarctica.
Chile: Punta Arenas
The weather-beaten city of Punta Arenas is a laid back and welcoming place, in spite of its inhospitable location on the shores of the Strait of Magellan. Nearby attractions include penguin colonies and the dramatic scenery of Torres del Paine National Park, while beyond the horizon lie the frozen wastes of Antarctica.
Chile: Puerto Montt
Puerto Montt is the capital of the Chilean Lake District, spread out around a wide bay against a backdrop of snow-capped volcanoes. This wild region offers a host of outdoor activities, including mountain hikes, kayaking, white water rafting, fishing, zip lining and cycling.
Arriving in Valparaíso
Characterful, colourful and a little chaotic, the port city of Valparaíso enjoys a somewhat awkward setting, scattered across 45 vertiginous hills. Thanks to this difficult topography the city streets are punctuated by steep staircases and funicular elevators, and energetic explorers will be rewarded with wonderful views of the pastel hued buildings that hug the slopes. Valparaíso's most famous former resident was the great Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, and you can visit one of his former residences, La Sebastiana, which now houses a small museum.
Amble through the city, taking the really cheap cable cars when you can to help you up and down the hills!
Your home from home
Viking’s hugely successful river cruise operation is now expanded with contemporary 930-guest ocean ships – six lovely sisters to start with – featuring attractive inclusive pricing and interesting itineraries.
What we love
The airy contemporary style of the ships, with fresh Nordic décor, is most appealing. Add to that the huge choices in dining and other facilities, and veranda staterooms throughout, not to mention included shore excursions and an excellent spa, and you have a winner.
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On Viking it is all about the destination. Back on board, expect to socialise with like-minded travellers, in an easy, spacious and understated hotel style environment.
Tailor-make your trip
Where to stay in Buenos Aires
Just steps away from the elegant Santa Fe Avenue and famous Florida Street, we love the Alvear Art Hotel.
Explore Buenos Aires
Take a private city tour to see all the highlights including the Metropolitan Cathedral and the Cabildo, colourful La Boca, the Colon Theatre and the Recoleta cemetery, resting place of Evita.
Where to stay in Valparaíso
The 23 room Palacio Astoreca comprises two buildings, including a completely restored national monument.
For contrast, visit clean and orderly Viña del Mar just up the coast.